This talk will explore the convergence of science and art in a specific form of worldbuilding practiced at the USC World building Media Lab, a design methodology refined by Alex McDowell Production Designer of Minority Report. Laura Cechanowicz will discuss worldbuilding, neuroscience, and identity, and the ways we construct our realities by building worlds. This talk will consider methods for constructing fiction and non-fiction realities, as well as the use of play and the significance of embodiment in human identity construction. By examining invisible disabilities through the lens of worldbuilding, Laura Cechanowicz considers the neuroscience of embodiment and the construction of autobiographical identity.
Laura Cechanowicz is Los Angeles based designer and worldbuilder, working with research and theory. She works across mediums, including animation, film and VR, production design, and sound design. Thematically and formally her work explores embodiment and memory through identity and neuroscience, the intersections of art and science, and the ways people record and transcribe personal histories. Laura’s passions include participatory art as social practice, and she views teaching as an integral part of this work. Laura earned her BA from the University of Michigan with Film & Video, Psychology and German majors, her MA in Film Studies from the University of Iowa, and her MFA in Animation from USC. An Annenberg Fellow, her production design talent was recognized at the 2015 Berlinale, and her work in worldbuilding design exhibited at the 2016 Venice Biennale. She is a USC iMAP PhD student and a member of the USC World Building Institute.